Signs of a True Gentleman


We all know the scenario … you’re walking up to a door with your arms full of stuff and the person in front of you sees this and yet still lets the door slam in your face, or the guy in front of you opens the door for his girlfriend but lets it close on you, you walk into a restaurant and see someone wearing their ball cap inside, or you go to dinner at someone’s house and the brother (father, uncle, etc) sits down for dinner with no shirt on, or you’re asked out on a date only to find out that he wants to split the bill. These things are intolerable and yet so very commonplace. What have women done to men to make them so ungentlemanly?

I believe what started with good intentions through the Women’s Liberation movement has slowly evolved into outright disrespect and laziness. On more than one occasion I have been in shock by the treatment I have received and have mumbled to myself … his momma didn’t raise him right, for sure! Today, I’ve compiled a list of 10 ways you can be sure that you are behaving like a gentleman. For all those guys out there or those gals raising young guys out there … this is for you. Follow this list and you’re sure to be the one the women fall for! 🙂

  1. Hold doors open, always. Whenever you see someone walking up, grab the door, even if it’s not for your girlfriend (mother, sister, etc). This is most important with the one you love, as it is never nice to walk to the restaurant and have to swing open the heavy door in heels and a dress. Also, holding doors or opening doors is necessary for vehicles, trams, cabs, you name it … just do it.
  2. Stand up in a lady’s presence. This doesn’t just involve when you’re seated at the table. Any time you are somewhere and a lady walks in the room or over to where you are, a true gentleman stands, even the slight half stand and then sit back down is plenty enough most times. I mean, obviously if you’re in a crowded lobby or waiting room and women are continually entering through the door, you don’t have to get up each time. However, when she’s approaching you or your table or your group, then yes, you must stand.
  3. Don’t use foul language. Yes, us women are just as guilty of letting foul words escape our mouths on occasion, but it is of utmost importance that you save the sailor speak for your buds. A lady should never have to listen to you curse something out. Just as you wouldn’t dare use the foul language in front of your grandmother … you should refrain in front of us as well.
  4. Take off your hat inside the building. A hat is there to shade you from the sun, not from the overhead lighting. Taking off your hat or tipping your hat has always been a sign of courtesy. A tip of the hat in Western societies was a common non-verbal greeting between friends or acquaintances. It was a show of respect. When inside the hat was immediately removed. The general rule is to wear hats in indoor spaces when they can plausibly be construed as public or shared space (shopping malls, hotel lobbies and corridors, open space in office buildings, airports, and so on) and to take off your hat when the space in question would probably be construed as personal space by its occupant(s) (homes, offices, smaller businesses).
  5. Do not lose your temper. Or at least try your very hardest to control it. If someone genuinely deserves it, yes, sometimes you need to escalate things. However, when you’re trying to put together a piece of equipment, or fix something that’s broken, or are stuck in traffic … there’s no reason to lose control. A man who remains composed under fire is a true gentleman indeed.
  6. Act as pest control when needed. Yes, when we are screaming from the other side of the house that means you drop whatever you’re doing, you come running, and you and kill the bug, even if it’s a tiny spider and even if you are just as scared of it as we are … if it freaks us out it is your job to take care of it.
  7. Be a handy man. Yes, you heard that right. Women secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) love a man who can fix things. They especially love a man who can build things … like a new back deck for instance. I don’t mean that you need to be Mr. Fixit and go around the house tearing things up and making it worse, but the genuine ability to make basic household repairs is a must!
  8. Make the first move. Don’t be lazy. It’s not cool to wait for us to come to you. Speaking from experience, if you don’t have the (ahem) guts to come over and talk or to call us to ask us out on a date, then why should we bother with you? We already have to do all the work and we’re not even married? Not so much am I liking that senario. No one likes to have to do all the work in the relationship and women love it when men take initiative … walk over and tell her she looks beautiful, ask her to go out on a date, plan that weekend trip, grab life by the horns buddy and go for it!
  9. Look the part. Don’t show up for the date with your shirt all wrinkled and stains on your pants. Take pride in your appearance but by all means don’t take longer than us to get ready! We don’t want you to overdo it but please, don’t just grab a shirt off the floor and throw on yesterdays jeans on your way out the door. Also, looking the part goes for accessories … fix up the car and clean out the garbage from the floorboard, show up with fresh flowers (not the grocery store end of the evening half of them are dead already variety), and make sure that if you’re buying chocolates or candy or jewelry you don’t skimp and buy the cheap stuff … show us you care by going that extra mile.
  10. Education is key. You don’t have to have a university degree to be educated. Read something more than a magazine once in a while. Watch the news. Go online and look up subjects that interest you and absorb as much as you can. When you can engage us in meaninful conversation you’ll get a lot further! Looking smokin’ hot can only get you so far. 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists a gentleman as “a man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior”. I think that definition says it best. Being a gentleman is not so much about status but rather about actions. And with that, I leave you Robert E. Lee’s Definition of a Gentleman.

“The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman. The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly–the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light. The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.”